If Today You Hear God's Voice...
As the Lenten season begins, most Catholics are doing various spiritual practices to open ourselves for a deepening of our relationship with God. We believe that God is ever ready to speak to us. In fact, God says to us, “If today you hear my voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7) Let’s take a moment to reflect upon this.
“If today you hear my voice…” Do you really expect God to speak to you TODAY? Are you truly open and looking forward to hearing from God today? Do you anticipate the voice of God? Lent is a time we set aside to “fine tune” our listening skills and to be more aware of God’s voice. God most likely will NOT speak to us as Moses experienced in the movie, The Ten Commandments . But, rather, God comes to us through the everyday events and people we encounter. As we go through our day, our prayer might be: God what are you trying to say to me in this person, or this circumstance? God will speak to you today if you but listen.
This leads us to the second part of the scripture passage… “harden not your hearts.” Why would I harden my heart to God? It doesn’t make sense, but there can be reasons. For example, there might be a fear of what God will say to me or more precisely, what God will ask me to do. Perhaps I find that I am angry at God and so find it difficult to talk with him. Or, maybe I find that I am just too busy or distracted with the concerns of this life – my job, my family, etc. Whatever may cause me to harden my heart, bring it to the Lord. Awareness is the first step to healing and, with God’s grace, we can overcome these barriers.
Our Lenten practices, then, help us in two ways. First, they help us to raise our awareness and expectation of God’s communication with us. Second, they help us to hear and respond to the voice of God.